Archive for the 'Archive' Category

Jade Jubilee: 35 Years of Concentrations

The year 2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the DMA’s Concentrations series, which was inaugurated in 1981 with paintings and monotypes by Richard Shaffer.

Concentrations I: Richard Shaffer, March 1–April 12, 1981

Initially planned as a series of five exhibitions exploring the work of living artists, Concentrations has grown into a long-running series featuring emerging and international artists working across a range of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, film and video, assemblage, and site-specific installations. Over the history of the series, nine curators have organized Concentrations exhibitions: Sue Graze (21), Steven A. Nash (1), Joan Davidow (3), Dave Hickey (1), Annegreth Nill (1), Charles Wylie (4), Suzanne Weaver (22), Jeffrey Grove (2), and Gabriel Ritter (5).

In celebration of the anniversary, I’ve pulled together some fun facts about the series with installation photos to illustrate them.

1. How many Concentrations exhibitions were held primarily outdoors in the Sculpture Garden?

Answer: Four, although there were a few exhibitions that had work in the Sculpture Garden in addition to the works in the galleries

Concentrations 8: Dalton Maroney, October 10, 1983–February 19, 1984

Concentrations 8: Dalton Maroney, October 10, 1983–February 19, 1984

Concentrations 9: Richard Long, March 31–July 8, 1984

Concentrations 9: Richard Long, March 31–July 8, 1984

Concentrations 11: Luis Jimenez, February 17–March 31, 1985

Concentrations 11: Luis Jimenez, February 17–March 31, 1985

Concentrations 51: Mark Handforth, March 23–September 23, 2007

Concentrations 51: Mark Handforth, March 23–September 23, 2007

Concentrations 8: Dalton Maroney was also the first exhibition held at the new Museum building downtown. It opened with the Sculpture Garden a few months before the Museum building.

2. What two exhibition series are related to Concentrations?

Answer: Projects and Encounters

Projects I: David McManaway, March 19-April 27, 1975

Projects I: David McManaway, March 19-April 27, 1975

Projects was a series of three exhibitions in 1975 curated by Robert Murdock, Curator of Contemporary Art. The three exhibitions in the series featured work by David McManaway, Bruce Cunningham, and Raffaele Martini. The series inspired the creation of the Concentrations series in 1981 by Curator of Contemporary Art Sue Graze.

Encounters was a series of six exhibitions held between 1992 and 1995 that were presented in place of Concentrations. The series, created and curated by Curator of Contemporary Art Annegreth Nill, paired the work of a regional artist with that of an artist from the national or international arena to increase potential dialogue.

Encounters 1: John Hernandez and Rainer Ganahl, February 23–April 19, 1992 - John Hernandez

Encounters 1: John Hernandez and Rainer Ganahl, February 23–April 19, 1992 – John Hernandez

Encounters 1: John Hernandez and Rainer Ganahl, February 23–April 19, 1992 - Rainer Ganahl

Encounters 1: John Hernandez and Rainer Ganahl, February 23–April 19, 1992 – Rainer Ganahl

3. Concentrations exhibitions have primarily been one-person shows, with a few duos (Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla) and one collective (Slavs and Tatars). How many have shown the work of two or more artists working separately?

Answer: Six

Concentrations III: Betsy Muller/Andrea Rosenberg, June 21–August 2, 1981

Concentrations III: Betsy Muller/Andrea Rosenberg, June 21–August 2, 1981

Concentrations 23: Texas Figurative Drawings, May 19–July 15, 1990

Concentrations 23: Texas Figurative Drawings, May 19–July 15, 1990

Concentrations 24: Continuities of Concern, June 2–August 5, 1990

Concentrations 24: Continuities of Concern, June 2–August 5, 1990

Concentrations 32: Anne Chu and Bonnie Collura, October 15, 1998–January 17, 1999

Concentrations 32: Anne Chu and Bonnie Collura, October 15, 1998–January 17, 1999

Concentrations 54: Matt Connors and Fergus Feehily, April 3-August 14, 2011

Concentrations 54: Matt Connors and Fergus Feehily, April 3-August 14, 2011

Concentrations 59: Mirror Stage, Visualizing the Self After the Internet, April 10-December 6, 2015

Concentrations 59: Mirror Stage, Visualizing the Self After the Internet,
April 10-December 6, 2015

4. How many artists have been part of a Concentrations exhibition?

Answer: 81 – This includes the twelve artists in Concentrations 23: Texas Figurative Drawings and counts the collective Slavs and Tatars from Concentrations 57 as one artist. Concentrations 24: Continuities of Concern is not included. About 40% of the artists are women.

I will close with a few more images from past Concentrations exhibitions to show the variety of work over 59 shows. More information on these and all Concentrations exhibitions can be found in Past Exhibitions on DMA.org. Concentrations 60: Lucie Stahl will open on September 16. Admission is FREE.

Concentrations IV: Alain Kirili, Recent Sculpture, October 18–November 29, 1981

Concentrations IV: Alain Kirili, Recent Sculpture, October 18–November 29, 1981

Concentrations 14: Pat Steir, The Brueghel Series, November 1, 1986–January 4, 1987

Concentrations 14: Pat Steir, The Brueghel Series, November 1, 1986–January 4, 1987

Concentrations 16: Mary Lucier, Wilderness, October 10–November 22, 1987

Concentrations 16: Mary Lucier, Wilderness, October 10–November 22, 1987

Concentrations 17: Vernon Fisher, Lost for Words, January 23–April 17, 1988

Concentrations 17: Vernon Fisher, Lost for Words, January 23–April 17, 1988

Concentrations 20: Kiki Smith, January 14–April 16, 1989

Concentrations 20: Kiki Smith, January 14–April 16, 1989

Concentrations 25: Harry Geffert, November 23, 1990–January 20, 1991

Concentrations 25: Harry Geffert, November 23, 1990–January 20, 1991

Concentrations 26: Celia Alvarez Munoz, Abriendo Tierra/ Breaking Ground

Concentrations 26: Celia Alvarez Munoz, Abriendo Tierra/ Breaking Ground, May 4-June 30, 1991

Concentrations 30: Mariko Mori, Come Play with Me, September 17–November 9, 1997

Concentrations 30: Mariko Mori, Come Play with Me, September 17–November 9, 1997

Concentrations 31: Patrick Faulhaber, June 25–September 13, 1998

Concentrations 31: Patrick Faulhaber, June 25–September 13, 1998

Concentrations 40: Maki Tamura, November 7, 2001–January 27, 2002

Concentrations 40: Maki Tamura, November 7, 2001–January 27, 2002

Concentrations 47: Jim Lambie, Thirteenth Floor Elevator, May 20–August 21, 2005

Concentrations 47: Jim Lambie, Thirteenth Floor Elevator, May 20–August 21, 2005

Concentrations 48: Charline von Heyl, October 28, 2005– January 8, 2006

Concentrations 48: Charline von Heyl, October 28, 2005– January 8, 2006

Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios, “A Morir ('til Death)”

Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios, “A Morir (’til Death)” January 29-May 14, 2006

Concentrations 55: Karla Black, October 19, 2012-March 17, 2013

Concentrations 55: Karla Black, October 19, 2012-March 17, 2013

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

All in a Day’s Work – 1940s

It’s Labor Day and while it is time to say an unofficial goodbye to summer, it is also the perfect time to recognize some of the staff that worked hard to make the Museum what it is today.

The Museum staff in the 1940s was small. Counting the names on the rosters in bulletins and annual reports, there were fewer than 20 people, including the teaching staff, which is about 10% of the people currently employed by the DMA. Some did multiple jobs covering both administrative and teaching duties, for example, or managing both the library and education programs.

Staff-JimmyGarrett-1940s-002

This is Building Superintendent Jimmie Garrett in 1940. He joined the staff after working on the construction crew that built the Museum in 1936. Unfortunately, I can’t quite figure out what he is doing in the photo, maybe guarding an installation in progress, or maybe just pondering the small figures on the shelves.

Staff-EdBearden-SculptureClass-1946-001

Ed Bearden, in the coat and tie, was both the Museum’s Assistant Director and a member of the teaching staff. Here, he instructs a sculpture class with a live model in 1946.

The 1947 State Fair was an exciting time as the Museum secured a loan of Rosa Bonheur’s famous painting The Horse Fair from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and staff worked hard to promote the event.

Membership_drive

Mary Bywaters (left) and Fran Bearden (right) use The Horse Fair to promote Dallas Art Association membership. The man in the center is unidentified, but it would be great to learn his name if you recognize him.

Bonheur_Horse_Fair_1947_002

In addition to administrative and art class teaching duties, Ed Bearden also gave public lectures. Here he is speaking about The Horse Fair in 1947.

DMFA_staff_1948_001

Standing left to right: Herb and Jett Rogalla, Ed and Fran Bearden, Mellville Mercer, Jeanette Bickel, Rusty Grimes, Barbara Mercer, Margaret Milam; seated left to right: Jerry Smith, Mary Bywaters, Tom Grimes.

Thankfully it wasn’t all work for our 1940s staff. Here are some DMFA staff and friends in what I like to imagine was a staff picnic-type outing, but maybe I am reading too much into the grass and trees in the picture. It would be quite a happy coincidence if the photo happened to be taken on Labor Day 1948.

Stay tuned next Labor Day to see Museum staff of the 1950s doing interesting things . . .

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

 

Collection Connection: Then and Now

Just last week the Museum released the DMA app, allowing visitors to engage with the collection, but the Museum has a long history of using technology to enhance the learning experience.

Students working with "Artifacts," the Museum's interactive computer video program during "The Shogun Age" in 1984.

Students working with Artifacts, the Museum’s interactive computer video program during The Shogun Age in 1984.

The first efforts began in 1984 when the DMA launched Artifacts (not to be confused with the 21st century version of Artifacts – the DMA Member magazine), a suite of interactive video computer programs that provided visitors a one-on-one learning experience for the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. “Combining visual images, through the use of video, with the stored information and access capability of a computer, a simple user-friendly system has been developed. Artifacts enable to the user to become involved with the program content rather than the mechanical operation of the machine, by the use of a light pen placed directly on a video monitor screen.”(DMA Bulletin, Summer 1984, page 27) Through Artifacts visitors were able to access information not available on text labels in the galleries providing context and greater appreciation of the artworks.

Today, a team of staff and intern programmers from Pariveda Solutions created the interactive app over the summer. Mary Mills, Administrator of Visual Resources, created Artifacts after two years of research and development, and had to learn both video production and computer programming, since Artifacts was the first system of its kind to be developed for an art museum.

The tools have vastly evolved over time but the idea of using technology to give visitors a more engaging experience at the DMA has stayed the same.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Riding With the Top Down

John Wise's Rolls Royce convertible, October 1971, John and Nora Wise Papers

John Wise’s Rolls Royce convertible, 1971, John and Nora Wise Papers

It’s summertime again in Texas, perfect for cruising the town in a convertible with the top down. Though convertibles can be useful for more than just feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face on a beautiful summer day. Other possibilities include . . .

Moving a large artwork . . .

Dallas artist Heri Bert Bartscht moving a sculpture in his convertible, Heri Bert Bartscht Papers

Dallas artist Heri Bert Bartscht moving a sculpture in his convertible, Heri Bert Bartscht Papers

Or, transporting a llama . . .

Sir Lancelot, a white llama, promoting "World of Ancient Gold" exhibition at the 1964 World's Fair, John and Nora Wise Papers

Sir Lancelot, a pure white llama, promoting the World of Ancient Gold exhibition at the 1964 World’s Fair, John and Nora Wise Papers

But admiring a beautiful Cadillac convertible in air-conditioned comfort is also nice . . .

Hot Cars, High Fashion, Cool Stuff : Designs for the 20th Century exhibition installation, March 31-July 14, 1996

Hot Cars, High Fashion, Cool Stuff : Designs of the 20th Century exhibition installation, March 31-July 14, 1996

Happy summer!

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the DMA.

Brothers and Sisters

Today is Brothers and Sisters Day, a day to cherish your siblings per the holiday’s description. I don’t have any siblings to cherish, but I did find some in the archives.

Jerry-Dick-Bywaters_001

In this photo, sculptor William Zorach is demonstrating sculpting to a group of young students at the Museum School in 1945. His models—seated on the table on the left side of the image—are sister and brother Jerry and Dick Bywaters, the children of then Museum director Jerry Bywaters.

Another set of siblings in the archives are Nora (Howell) Wise and Frank Howell. In 1976, the Museum acquired a collection of pre-Columbian art from Nora and her husband, John Wise; papers from John and Nora came to the Museum after Nora’s death. The papers include this postcard from Nora’s brother Frank, a solider in WWI, telling her that he was coming home.

My dear sister, “All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days. Best love to all, Frank

My dear sister,
“All is well that ends well.” Though the end has not quite come yet, nevertheless we’re well on our way from war, etc, back to the dear old U.S. Will be at a sea-port in a few days.
Best love to all, Frank

 

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

From the Archives: The Museum During WWII

“No annual report, no discussion of affairs, at this time, can ignore the one major fact of this year: we are at war.”

This is the opening sentence of the Report of the Director, dated April 9, 1942, and published in the May-June 1942 Bulletin. The report goes on to describe the effects of the first months of WWII on the Museum. It sparked my interest to investigate how the Museum prepared for and supported the war effort.

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

Two service men at an exhibition of war posters

I discovered that while many east and west coast museums focused on civil defense preparations, the DMFA (Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, which would later become the DMA) was able to focus its wartime efforts on offering cultural programs of wide general appeal, including exhibitions, musical performances, movies, gallery talks, art classes, and recreational activities. These programs were designed to support the service men and women stationed in the area and boost morale among the civilian residents of Dallas.

Twenty exhibitions representing the part that art plays in the war effort were assembled from army camps and individual artists in the Service and were held between 1942 and 1945.

Prints by British Artists in Service, July 1942
Red Cross Poster Exhibition, August 1942
British and American War Posters, September 1942
Art in War, July 4-August 8, 1943
Exhibition of Work by Soldiers from Camp Maxey, September 12-October 3, 1943
John Knott: War Cartoons, October 3-November 7, 1943
War Posters, October 10-31, 1943
Lt. Bill Lumpkins: Watercolors, December 1-21, 1943
Speak Their Language: British and American Cartoons, March 19-April 3, 1944
Pfc. Benham Dangers: Alaska Paintings, June 18-July 11, 1944
Costumes of 7 American Wars, June 18-July 16, 1944

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

The World War II section of the exhibition Costumes of Seven American Wars

Fred Darge: Paintings of Bougainville, July 2-August 1, 1944
Paintings from Camp Barkley, July 9-August 13, 1944
Alexandre Hogue: Aviation Production Drawings, October 15-November 3, 1944
[Pfc.] Walt Wiggins: Photographs, December 3-28, 1944
The Abbott Collection: Paintings of Naval Aviation, December 10, 1944-January 9, 1945

The Abbott Collection included over 100 paintings and drawings by seven nationally known American artists depicting the varied phases of naval aviation from pre-flight to combat. The artists visited Naval Air Stations and lived and talked with students, instructors, and fighter pilots in order to produce this important historical record of the Navy.

Mayor Woodall Rogers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Mayor Woodall Rodgers and Dr. Umphrey Lee, president of Southern Methodist University, view the Naval Aviation paintings with a group of Waves

Paintings from Frederick Army Air Field, December 31, 1944-January 30, 1945
Ben Culwell: War Paintings, March 4-16, 1945
Army Arts Exhibition-8th Service Command, April 29-May 13, 1945

The Army Arts exhibition included 191 works from 800 entries submitted. The jury consisted of Lt. Col. Ward Lockwood, Major Louis D. Smith, Lt. T.A. Reeves, Jr., DMFA Director Jerry Bywaters, and Dallas artist Allie Tennant. A national jury visited the Museum and chose 30 works to represent the 8th Service Command in the national exhibition in Washington, D.C.

War Bond House Organ Cover Designs Exhibition, July 15-29, 1945

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

Members of the Armed Services at the Sunday Canteen sponsored by the Museum League

In addition to programming, the Museum League sponsored a canteen for members of the Armed Services in the Museum’s Lounge every Sunday afternoon. The canteen is noted as one of the most appreciated activities by service men and women far from home. The Museum League also sold defense stamps, put on special events for soldiers and their wives, and generally worked to bring the Museum to the attention of those in the Armed Services.

Certificate of appreciation for the museum's wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters.

Certificate of appreciation for the Museum’s wartime support from the United Stated Marine Corps, presented to Jerry Bywaters

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

 

 

Pollock for all Ages

Jackson Pollock tends to bring out art enthusiasts of all ages, and his two iconic works in the Museum’s collection have always been an important stop for visitors. The Dallas Museum of Art has a long history with Pollock; we were the first museum in the world to acquire one of his “classic period” works (Cathedral), and the DMA’s Portrait and a Dream is widely considered to be his last major art statement. Since both of these iconic works are on view in the current exhibition Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots, we began exploring the archives and stumbled upon photos from a 1970s art tour focused on our impressive Pollock piece:

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock in 1976.

Preschoolers visit the DMFA and learn about Jackson Pollock. Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

And then get to try their hand at drip paintings.

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Photo by Clint Grant, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1976

Ten 3-5 year olds, who were participating in the Young Artists program started by Southern Methodist University’s fine arts education department, joined DMFA education staff at the Museum for an afternoon all about Pollock . . . and cookies.

See more photos in the November 21, 1976, article “What is Art?” by Clint Grant.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.


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